Where America is Moving: Buyer and Seller Migration Patterns and Trends
By Maggie Wilson @ Real Estate Daily
February 7, 2018

Homeowners are becoming hesitant to move as interest rates are beginning to rise. This hesitancy is amplifying inventory shortages around the country, especially in some of the most in-demand states like Washington and Idaho.

Key Takeaways

  • Idaho was the most popular state for buyers moving with a 65.1% inbound rate in 2017
  • Illinois was the least desirable with a 62.4% outbound move rate
  • There were 72,986 total cross-border moves in 2017, down from 75,427 in 2016


Last year’s tight housing market forced a lot of people to stay in their homes instead of selling, and made even more consumers reconsider their options when moving across state lines. Washington was the most popular west coast destination for buyers, but the Midwest dominated the top ten list of states with the highest inbound rate.

There were 11 states that changed in migration status last year. Overall, 23 states were considered balanced, 10 as predominantly inbound, and 17 outbound. A state is considered balanced if it has below a 55% outbound or inbound rate, respectively.

Here are the 10 states with the highest Inbound and Outbound rates:


  • Idaho (65.1 percent)
  • Washington (62.5 percent)
  • Nevada (62.4 percent)
  • Tennessee (60.6 percent)
  • Alaska (60.4 percent)
  • Maine (59.7 percent)
  • North Carolina (59.3 percent)
  • Oregon (57.5 percent)
  • Alabama (57 percent)
  • New Hampshire (55.7 percent)


  • Illinois (62.4 percent)
  • West Virginia (60.4 percent)
  • Nebraska (60.3 percent)
  • South Dakota (59.9 percent)
  • Hawaii (59.8 percent)
  • Indiana (59.7 percent)
  • Delaware (59.6 percent)
  • New York (59.2 percent)
  • Louisiana (57.9 percent)
  • Kansas (57.7 percent)